Best Fridges to Choose From

Refrigerators play a central role in every kitchen. The best fridges can not only help you keep food and beverages fresh and ready for use throughout the week, but also keep track of your grocery lists, remember product expiry dates and more.

With a wide variety of refrigerator sizes to choose from, including top-mount, bottom-mount, side-by-side, built-in and mini fridges, you'll have no trouble finding one that combines the right features, capacity and look you want.

Replacing an old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model may also help you reduce your energy consumption and lower your monthly utility bills.

Finding the best refrigerator for you is simply a matter of evaluating what you need in terms of fridge size, function and style. We’ll guide you through some of the best fridge brands to help you make the right decision for your space.

Types of Refrigerators & Fridge Sizes

Choosing the right fridge starts with selecting the right size. Determine how wide, tall and deep your new unit can and ensure that you’ve got room in front for the doors to open fully. Make sure to account for your doorway size, as the fridge will need to pass through them when being installed.

Top Freezer Refrigerators

French Door Fridges

The freezer is on the bottom and the fresh food section can be accessed via the front twin doors. The width is usually between 30 and 36 inches.

Side by Side Fridges

Side by Side Fridges

The freezer and refrigerator are placed directly next to each other, putting both frozen and refrigerated food within easy reach and better accommodating larger plates and platters. The width is usually between 30 and 36 inches.

Compact Fridges and Mini Fridges

Compact Fridges and Mini Fridges

Small units that can fit into tight spaces or underneath counters, making them ideal for dorm rooms, bedrooms, home offices and home bars. They usually have a capacity of around 4.5 cubic feet, but dimensions will vary.

Bottom Freezer Fridges

Bottom Freezer Fridges

The freezer is located below the refrigerator, making food in the refrigerator easier to reach without bending over. Swing-out or pull-open freezer doors can help give you easier access to frozen items. Bottom freezer units usually come in 23- to 36-inch widths.

Top Freezer Fridges

Top Freezer Fridges

The most common design has the freezer located above the refrigerator, providing a spacious fridge interior and easy access to all items. Top freezer units usually come in 23- to 36-inch widths.

Beverage Fridges & Coolers

Beverage Fridges & Coolers

Wine coolers, beverage fridges and kegerators are all great specialty options to accent your kitchen or home bar space.

Apartment-Sized Fridges

Equipped with either top or bottom freezers, they conveniently come in widths of up to 30 inches for standard-depth models or 33 inches for counter-depth varieties making them the perfect choice for smaller kitchen spaces.

Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Counter-depth refrigerators are an elegant solution designed to blend seamlessly into your kitchen design by being level with your existing countertops. They’re usually between 23 and 27 inches deep.

Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Freestanding Counter-depth Refrigerators

Freestanding counter-depth refrigerators have finished sides and do not need to be secured or fastened. They aren’t as deep as most freestanding units but are generally wider to compensate for space. They’re usually less expensive than a built-in but offer a similar sleek contour design.

Built-in Counter-depth Refrigerators

Built-in counter-depth refrigerators have unfinished sides and an evaporator mounted at the top. Due to the top-heavy nature of this design, built-in refrigerators need to be secured to the surrounding cabinetry and wall. They are constructed to blend in with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry rather than being installed as a separate unit.

How to Measure for a New Fridge

When searching for a new refrigerator, it's important to find one that fits your needs and your space. Measuring before you buy will ensure your new fridge fits nicely and helps make delivery and installation a breeze.

  1. 1 Measure your space:

    • Measure the width of your space in three different places: at the countertop, under the upper cabinets and at the base, if there is moulding and make note of the thinnest point.
    • Measure the height from floor to lowest point of the upper cabinets.
    • Measure the depth of the space from the back wall to the front edge of your counters.
  2. 2 Allow for room to breathe:

    • Most models require at least 1/8'' on each side, 1'' above the fridge and 2'' behind the unit.
    • Subtract these numbers from the measurements you obtained, so you have the maximum dimensions that will fit your space.
    • Check the manufacturer's instructions for requirements on breathing space.
  3. 3 Choose the path for bringing the fridge in:

    • Consider doorways, stairs and other obstacles.
    • Measure every doorway the fridge will need to pass through from jamb to jamb, as well as the hallways along the chosen path. If needed, remove the door hinges so the fridge can pass through more freely.
  4. 4 Other things to consider:

    • Ensure there's room for the fridge doors to open freely.
    • Check if there's room for the additional height of the fridge doors' hinges.

The Best Fridge Capacity for Your Household

Refrigerators are available in a wide range of capacities, from compact units with around 3 cubic feet of space to large, family-sized units that feature upwards of 30 cubic feet.

In a two-person household, you will need at least 10 cubic feet of space, excluding freezer storage. In larger households, a good rule of thumb is to add 1.5 cubic feet of refrigeration space for each additional person. Overall, 21 cubic feet of refrigeration/freezer space should suffice for an average-sized family.

Some other things you should take into consideration when deciding on your fridge capacity are:

  • If you dine out frequently, you may be able to purchase a smaller unit.
  • Empty refrigerators operate with less efficiency than fully stocked units.
  • If you frequently entertain guests, look for a unit with greater storage capacity.
  • Consider adding a second refrigerator in your garage or basement if you need a great deal of extra space.

Features to Look for

Counter-Depth Refrigerators

Smart Fridges

Want to see what’s inside your fridge from your smartphone, create a shopping list on your fridge door, or even track the expiry dates of the products inside? Smart fridges can do that and more, connecting to the internet to give you a completely online fridge experience.
Door in Door Or Door Within Door
These fridges feature a hidden compartment behind the traditional doors that allows you to access commonly used items at the front of the fridge without letting warm air into the whole fridge.
Ice/Water Dispenser
Fighting with plastic ice cube trays can be a hassle, and there are never enough cubes when you have company. Built-in automatic icemakers ensure that there's always plenty of ice available, and water dispensers provide cold water at the touch of a button. Look for icemakers and dispensers with built-in filtration systems to provide clean, pure water.
Fingerprint-Resistant Fridges
Keep your fridge looking cleaner with a finish that resists fingerprints and other marks.
Door or Temperature Alarms
Accidentally leaving the door of the refrigerator open not only wastes energy, it can also spoil food. Units with door or temperature alarms alert you when the door has been left open for more than a few minutes.
Child Lock
Units with a child lock will help prevent little chefs from accidentally leaving the door open or helping themselves to treats without permission.
Quiet Operation
Refrigerators with this feature reduce operational noise and help keep your kitchen atmosphere quiet.
Fast-Cooling Compartment
If you find yourself needing to get food items or beverages to a cool temperature quickly, look for a refrigerator that features a special compartment that's colder than the rest of the unit. This space cools things down fast without freezing them.
Humidity-controlled Crisper
Extend the life of your fruits and vegetables by controlling the humidity around them in your fridge’s crisper compartment.

Fridge Organization Features

Counter-Depth Refrigerators

The primary means of storing food in your refrigerator are bins, shelves, drawers and baskets, so don't forget to consider all these features when you are choosing your new fridge. Here are some tips on what to look for when buying a new refrigerator:

  • If you like to keep large amounts of milk or juice on hand, look for door bins capable of holding larger containers.
  • Many refrigerators have wire shelves, which allow spills to fall through and splatter items below. For easy cleanup and spill control, look for units with spill-proof glass shelves.
  • Adjustable shelving allows you to move them up and down to create space for large dishes while wine racks, snack trays and lift-out baskets in the freezer provide other organizational options.
  • Look for crispers with humidity controls. Different fruits and vegetables require different amounts of humidity to remain crisp, and these drawers offer the ability to set levels depending on what you're storing.
  • Bins with adjustable heights can accommodate a wider range of food and beverage containers.
  • Sliding shelves make it easier to reach items placed toward the back of the refrigerator.
  • Deli trays allow you to store large platters of meats, cheeses and hors d'oeuvres.
  • Built-in beverage holders keep canned or bottled beverages neat, orderly and easily accessible.

Energy Efficiency

Energy Star

Compared to older units, refrigerators manufactured over the past few years provide a tremendous improvement in energy efficiency. Units with the ENERGY STAR rating offer even more efficiency, being required by definition to use at least 20% less energy than current federal standards require (compact units must be 20% more efficient). In addition to purchasing an ENERGY STAR-qualified unit, there are other ways to improve efficiency. Avoid placing your refrigerator next to a heat source, such as a stove or dishwasher, and be sure to defrost it as soon as necessary if you purchase a manual-defrost model. Do not leave the door open for long periods of time, and make sure to leave space around the unit to allow air to reach the condenser coils, preventing heat buildup.

  • Energy-efficient models help reduce utility bills and are more environmentally friendly than standard refrigerators
  • Electronic controls and digital displays make it easy to set precise temperatures
  • Advanced temperature regulation systems keep refrigerators efficiently functioning at optimal temperatures

Style and Finish

While storage capacity, efficiency and features are probably the most important aspects to consider, don’t overlook style. Your refrigerator will likely last for many years, so its important to select a model that will fit in with your changing tastes and continue to look great over time.

Popular Fridge Finishes

Tips:

• Built-in units let you customize your kitchen's appearance while contoured doors and handles offer a sleek, sophisticated element.

• Trim kits allow you to give freestanding units the appearance of a built-in refrigerator

• Some materials used to create refrigerators are not magnetic, so bear that in mind if you often keep menus, to-do lists and other important items on the fridge

Top Fridge Brands

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